Silva unfazed by 'snake' taunts from angry Watford fans

Lucas Digne's brilliant free kick six minutes into injury time snatched a 2-2 draw for Everton against Watford at Goodison Park on Monday. It was the Frenchman's first goal for the club, as Toffees manager Marco Silva avoided defeat by his former emp
Lucas Digne's brilliant free kick six minutes into injury time snatched a 2-2 draw for Everton against Watford at Goodison Park on Monday. It was the Frenchman's first goal for the club, as Toffees manager Marco Silva avoided defeat by his former employers.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • The relief on Marco Silva's face was palpable at the full-time whistle after being subjected to abusive chants and inflatable snakes waved in his direction in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Monday.

The Everton manager was facing Watford for the first time since his acrimonious departure from Vicarage Road.

He was sacked in January, with the Premier League club's owners blaming the Toffees for turning his head. Watford subsequently filed a complaint to the league over Everton's alleged illegal approach.

The Hornets fans have fumed over his exit, convinced he treated them disrespectfully, and they showed their disdain with their "snake" reception.

It also looked like Silva would be stung by his old side with just seconds to go at Goodison Park.

Richarlison, signed from Watford by Silva, had put the hosts ahead in the first half, but Seamus Coleman's own goal pulled Watford level before Abdoulaye Doucoure gave the away side the lead.

After Gylfi Sigurdsson had his penalty saved, it looked like the Watford supporters would gain a measure of revenge against their former boss, only for a brilliant free kick from Lucas Digne, six minutes into added time, to level the score.

It was the defender's first goal for the club since he moved in the summer from Barcelona and he tweeted his delight afterwards, thanking the home fans for their "amazing support".

 

Asked about the Watford taunts, Silva insisted it was "not important" to him and he "did not see anything to talk about", before admitting Everton were lucky to get a draw .

The Portuguese said: "What I can control is my players. It's a difficult match to talk about. We lost our focus completely for their goals."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Silva unfazed by 'snake' taunts from angry Watford fans'. Print Edition | Subscribe